Watson smashed a 47-ball 89 to guide the visitor home in just 13.1 overs

Shane Watson silenced the home crowd with a blistering knock and led Rajasthan Royals to a stunning 10-wicket victory in its final IPL-IV league match at the Wankhede Stadium here on Friday.

Watson's furious show with the bat, following his splendid effort with the ball and excellent work on the field, inflicted a third straight morale-shattering defeat on Mumbai Indians whose survival in the competition hinges on its last outing against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.

Watson was in punishing mood, hitting Munaf Patel, Harbhajan Singh and even Lasith Malinga all over the park. Rahul Dravid was an approving witness to the marauding Watson in action.

It was a single-handed endeavour that ought to have pleased his captain Shane Warne, who has decided to bring an end to his role as a player in the IPL.

Doubtful decisions

It was perhaps a just result for Royals, which was at the receiving end of some doubtful decisions by umpire Paul Reiffel.

Ankeet Chavan is a familiar name on the local maidans. In the last three years, he made a token presence in a couple of first-class and a few one-day matches for Mumbai.

On Friday, when Warne gave him a chance to bowl at Tendulkar, he not only impressed with a nagging length. Royals should have won an appeal for leg-before against Tendulkar off the second ball of the MI innings, but umpire Reiffel turned it down.

Thereafter in his fourth over, Chavan was again denied Tendulkar's wicket.

After being beaten by a delivery that spun across the face of his bat, Tendulkar was palpably in front, but Reiffel, surprisingly for a bowler-umpire, denied a wicket of the champion batsman to Chavan, who eventually finished at none for 17.

Pressure

Finally Tendulkar, under immense pressure to provide thrust to the run rate, slashed at seamer Amit Singh to bring Watson into the picture again as a fielder at third man.

The Australian seamer had accounted for T. Suman, whipping off his pads to Ashok Menaria at mid-wicket and Ambati Rayudu, whose shot found Ross Taylor darting back to convert a catch at cover.

It was an absorbing tussle right through the course of the MI innings with Chavan and Watson turning out to be exceptional in their four overs.

It may not have been an ideal pitch for stroke-making, but Royals showed energy, enthusiasm and skill with the ball to restrict MI to 133.

The stand-out performer was Rohit Sharma, who played brilliantly to score a half-century.

Mumbai Indians:T. Suman c Menaria b Watson 5 (6b, 1x4), S. Tendulkar c Watson b Amit 31 (35b, 3x4), A. Rayudu c Taylor b Watson 2 (8b), Rohit st. Shah b Warne 58 (47b, 5x4, 1x6), K. Pollard b Watson 20 (18b, 2x4), J. Franklin (not out) 11 (5b, 2x4), Harbhajan (not out) 1 (1b); Extras (lb-2, w-3): 5; Total (for five wkts. in 20 overs): 133.

Fall of wickets:1-7, 2-17, 3-65, 4-118, 5-131.

Rajasthan Royals bowling:Chavan 4-0-17-0, Watson 4-0-19-3, Trivedi 1-0-9-0, Warne 4-0-30-1, Botha 4-0-24-0, Amit 2-0-20-1, Menaria 1-0-12-0.

Rajasthan Royals:S. Watson (not out) 89 (47b, 9x4, 6x6), R. Dravid (not out) 43 (32b, 6x4); Extras (w-2): 2; Total (for no loss in 13.1 overs): 134.

Mumbai Indians bowling:Munaf 3-0-23-0, Harbhajan 2-0-27-0, Malinga 4-0-42-0, Kulkarni 2-0-19-0, Pollard 2-0-19-0, Franklin 0.1-0-4-0.

Man-of-the-Match:Shane Watson.

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